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Old 11-29-2017, 11:39 PM   #1
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Swift, Jonathan: Gulliver's Travels (illus-Rackham). v1. 30 Nov 2017

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)
Illustrations by Arthur Rackham (1867–1939)

Gulliver’s Travels was first published in 1726. The illustrated “Rackham” edition with color plates was published in 1909. The latter was expurgated for children, but the complete text is used in this MobileRead edition.

Text is in the public domain world-wide. The illustrations are in the public domain in countries where copyright is “Life+70” or less, and in the USA.


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Jonathan Swift (30 November 1667 – 19 October 1745) was an Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, and poet; a cleric who became Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin. Swift was a prolific writer; and is remembered for works such as A Tale of a Tub (1704), An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity (1712), Gulliver’s Travels (1726), and A Modest Proposal (1729). His deadpan, ironic writing style, particularly in A Modest Proposal, has led to such satire being subsequently termed “Swiftian”.

Gulliver’s Travels, a satire both on human nature and the “travellers’ tales” literary subgenre, is regarded as his masterpiece. As with his other writings, the book was published under a pseudonym, and was originally titled: Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. In Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of several Ships.

Though it has often been mistakenly thought of and published in bowdlerised form as a children’s book, it is a great and sophisticated satire of human nature based on Swift’s experience of his times. He himself claimed that he wrote Gulliver’s Travels “to vex the world rather than divert it”.

Three centuries later, readers are still vexed, diverted, and thoroughly entertained by this witty parody.

Bon voyage!
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